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CBN uncovers $2.4 bln fraudulent FX backlog of $7 bln outstanding FX claims

Cardoso's statements come barely a week after the CBN announced that it had released an additional $500 million to address verified outstanding FX liabilities to various sectors of the economy.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Dr. Olayemi Cardoso, has disclosed that $2.4 billion out of the reported $7 billion outstanding foreign exchange liabilities of the Federal Government are not valid for settlement.

Cardoso said that part of the headline $7 billion in outstanding FX claims was fraudulent, according to a forensic audit by Deloitte Management Consultant.

Speaking in an interview with Arise TV on Monday, the apex bank chief restated that the bank was committed to addressing the outstanding FX liabilities as soon as possible.

Cardoso said: “Deloitte Management was contracted to do a forensic of all these obligations and to actually tell us what was valid and what was not. Of course, we were committed to ensuring that we would pay for all valid transactions.

“The result that came out of this was startling in a great respect; it was quite startling. We discovered that of the roughly $7 billion, about $2.4 had issues, which we believed had no business being there, and the infractions from that ranged from so many things.

“For example, not having valid import documents, and in some cases, even entities that did not exist, and in some cases, beneficiaries and account parties that asked for FX and got more than they asked for.

“And those who didn’t even ask for any and got. So, there were a whole load of infractions there, which I said amounted to about $2.4 billion out of the $7 billion headline figure.”

Cardoso disclosed that loans and advances in the economy were about N40 trillion, of which CBN interventions accounted for about 25 percent.

He said such liquidity injections were responsible for the current distortions, including inflation in the economy, because they were not properly managed.

He pointed out that CBN currently lacked the capacity for direct interventions and would rather focus on its primary mandate to control inflation, stabilise prices, and ensure a stable economic environment.

Cardoso’s statements come barely a week after the CBN announced that it had released an additional $500 million to address verified outstanding FX liabilities to various sectors of the economy.

The announcement was obviously targeted at arresting the continuing decline of the Naira on both the official and parallel markets.

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